Before going into why I ate where I ate the entire time I was in Bucharest I should explain why. It didn’t take me long to notice that a lot of menus I found outside of the restaurants are listed in Romanian which they should be. The thing is that I didn’t see any English listed underneath the food items so I wouldn’t have an idea of what I was ordering because I wouldn’t know what it was. I guess I could have asked the host if they had another menu; one for tourists. But I didn’t.
After saying this; you will understand where I am coming from with my choices of where I ate. Starting with the first place I found which happened to be a mini market.
I wasn’t sure what to think about the food in Bucharest since my first experience eating in the country wasn’t the best. Or should I say going to one of those mini marts and getting something that was laid out ‘buffet style.’ I ended up getting chicken with some kind of sauce on it; definitely not barbecue sauce. Not sure what kind of sauce it was but it might have tasted better if the chicken was heated up and not given to me cold. On top of that, I added fries to the plate which, of course, was given to me cold. I probably should have attempted to ask if they could have heated the food up for me. They were probably thinking I was going to take it home and heat it up myself. Bad mistake on my part not to ask…. I was too hungry to even care at this point when I took it back to the hostel and ate it cold. At least it was edible and cooked LOL. Just not hot.
If only I knew this is how many of my meals would end up being like while I was here. I should elaborate by saying that it was a point to what I wanted to eat kind of place. Maybe that is why I stuck to yogurt with granola for breakfast and why mini marts became my place of refuge when I was hungry.
It was easy enough to walk through the aisles and pick out what I wanted to eat without putting too much effort in trying to explain what I wanted. In saying this, yes it would have been nice to sit down in a restaurant and have my meal brought out to me but that didn’t happen. I guess I should be happy I found many mini markets during my walks to choose from along with street vendors. If I didn’t have either than I don’t know what I would have done for food. Probably would starve for the week I was gone. LOL.
You are probably wondering what did I eat if I stuck to mini markets and street vendors? One place I found wasn’t far from Izvor Park. They had the best Lipie Pui that I had ever had. That isn’t saying much because I have never had it before; you could say it reminded me of Gyros you would get in Greece. They were that good. It turns out it is a type of Romanian bread and it had french fries added into the dish. Of course, I got the one with chicken; came off the spit the same way it would if you were ordering a Gyro. After buying one, I took it back to the hostel’s kitchen and ate it there. It was too big and messy if I tried to sit down and eat it at one of the parks nearby. It is one of those meals that you need to sit down with a knife and fork because trying to hold it in your hands doesn’t work. Too messy for that.
Another time I bought a pretzel from one of these street vendors and it only cost me .25 which turned out to be one RON. Now that is what I call inexpensive and that was pretty much how I felt the entire time I was in Bucharest. The food was inexpensive!
Now I know I said I stuck to mini markets and street vendors the entire time I was in the city which is true. Though I did find a couple of places where I got to sit down and enjoy my meal.
Upon my wandering around the city, I found a place that would be considered of the healthy variety. As I made my way inside the cafe, I looked at the menu which I understood. I ended up ordering the vegetarian sandwich and an orange juice which was freshly squeezed. If you are looking for a healthy alternative while traveling than I highly recommend this place. It is on Calea Victoriei; Refresh Juice Bar is the name of the place.
Another place I found wasn’t even in Bucharest. It was in Sinaia when I actually left the city gasp for the day. Not sure the name of the restaurant I found on my way to Peles Castle so I can’t tell you where to go if you want a really good Monte Cristo. It didn’t look anything like what we are used to but it was one of the best sandwiches I have eaten. It came with deep fried potatoes which we would call french fries back home. No, there wasn’t any ketchup on the table to put on the fries. I am not sure they use ketchup for their potatoes. For these fries, you didn’t need ketchup since they came with melted mozzarella cheese on top of it. So good!
One thing I did find interesting among my food choices is this one street vendor in Sinaia. I decided to order a hamburger from the vendor. I figured it would be your normal hamburger slapped on a bun with lettuce and tomato. Not the case…. It came with french fries and cole slaw on the burger itself. Different but nonetheless it was good…..
There you have it…. How I survived eating in a place where I found it difficult to order food off of a menu. Maybe if I had been a bit braver to step foot inside of one of these restaurants than I might have realized ordering food off the menu wouldn’t have been that difficult to do. I would say there is always a next time but I am positive Bucharest was a one shot deal for me.
What about you? I would love to hear your thoughts on the city if you have ever visited.